We may feel that when we have our television, music, exercise equipment, and air conditioning in the house, that there is no reason to have to be outside. The Environmental Protection Agency says 93% of Americans spend their lives indoors with only 7% outdoors which is only half a day a week. The Journal of Environmental Science and Technology recommends spending five minutes outside a day will improve your mood and self-esteem.
One reason why we must go outside is that indoor pollutants are 2-5 times stronger indoors than outdoors. It is considered one of the top five risks to public health when you are exposed to carbon monoxide, cooking appliances, fireplaces, building materials, furnishing chemicals, household and office supplies, dirt, mold, dust, and pet dander. By experiencing any one of these symptoms such as burning eyes, scratchy throat, headaches, breathing problems, fatigue, or brain fog, that explains how much time is spent indoors and need to be outside.
Walking outsides is good for your mental health as well as a study in 2009 saying taking a nature walk can reduce stress levels. It was also said in 2013 how walking on a green space can put the brain in a meditative state. If you walk through the forest, the stress level of cortisol will be reduced in the blood as well as your blood pressure, fatigue, heart rate, and an improved mood. Spending too much time indoors can increase the risks of children developing myopia, nearsightedness, and staring at the television or computer screen for too long can increase the chances of dry eye syndrome.
Exposure to sunlight is more important than we realize. We get Vitamin D from the sun and if we do not get enough exposure to sunlight, this can increase our chances of getting cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, hip fractures, depression, and decreases chances of pregnancy. Everyone should get at least fifteen minutes of sunlight a day. If you are exposure to longer than that such as half an hour to an hour’s worth, your sleeping patterns will improve as well. Inhaling natural phytoncides from the forest trees can kill off natural killer cells in your body.
Most importantly, being around nature, such as going to the park or walking through a forest, will improve your memory, attention, and reduce depression by not making you feel exhausted. Going outside everyday will make great health improvements.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful program of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020